NATO on Friday rejected Russian President Vladimir Putin’s demand that the military alliance block entry of new members to prevent Ukraine from joining. AP reports,
Why this matters: With With Russian troops gathering on the Ukrainian border, fears of another invasion have grown steadily in recent months. Friday’s comments are a response to Putin’s conditions to downplay a potentially disastrous conflict.
- Although the US and other NATO allies have expanded their military presence and activities in the “eastern side” of the coalition, the Ukrainian government has lobbied for immediate additional military aid and pre-sanctions from the US, writes Nerdshala Zachary Basu.
- But since Ukraine is not a member of NATO, the coalition’s collective defense clause, which treats an attack on one ally as an attack on all of them, does not apply.
What are they saying: NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said after a virtual NATO meeting in Brussels, “We will not compromise on fundamentals, including the right of every country to go its own way, including what kind of security it seeks.” Wants to be part of the system.” Foreign Minister, per ap.
- “NATO never promised not to add new members, it cannot and will not,” Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said in separate remarks to reporters on Friday.
- “They want to drag us into a debate about NATO, rather than focus on that matter, which is their aggression towards Ukraine. We will not deviate from that issue.”
- “We are prepared to respond to further Russian aggression, but a diplomatic solution is still possible and Russia will do better,” Blinken said.
what to watch: The issue will be part of the discussion during the NATO-Russia Council meeting. next Wednesday – For the first time in two years.